A pathetic villainous character but fantastic focus on club interactions.
The delinquent and the Princess face off multiple times in this third episode, though he’s not actually as much of a delinquent as people think and she’s no princess. However, despite enjoying the play between the two members of the club as they recruit additional members, episode 3 of Kono Oto Tomare plunges us headlong into a trope I despise: the evil vice-principal plotting to shut down a club.
At no point in any school anime is any adult character given a rational explanation for ultimately being vindictive for the sake of it and to be perfectly frank it makes no sense and the tension for the characters feels completely artificial and over inflated. While I’m enjoying the other aspects of this anime so far, I probably could have done without this particular plot line and the fact that it isn’t resolved by the end of the episode just means we’ll have yet more preposterous motivations and actions to deal with.
Despite that, I enjoyed large parts of this episode where it focused on Kudo’s backstory and the group of boys who joined the club, as well as the interactions between them and Houzuki. The personality clashes and Houzuki’s awkwardness as well as her Spartan teaching method all actually felt authentic and well thought out. If only the external threat to the club made more sense than vice-principals are evil and hate kids.
The only other point of contention here is that Takezou as the club president has rapidly faded into the background as stronger and more interesting personalities have stolen the show. While Kudo is interesting and I’m liking his story, it would be nice if Takezou’s story of wanting to take the club to nationals continued to play a role here.
Ask for more of the club president and we shall receive. Kono Oto Tomare continues to have the club members dedicated in their practice and learning to come together as a club. During this time Takezou starts to really step up as club president realising Houzuki’s weaknesses as a teacher and the need to support the morale within the club as they work tirelessly against the clock to prepare for their performance.
While the vice principal’s challenge is still the motivating factor here, he fortunately makes no appearance and no artificial hindrance appears in this episode, though Takezou’s summons to the staff room doesn’t bode well. So instead of dwelling on the contrived reason for the race against time, the anime instead opts to look at each of the members as they strive to improve within their role within the club and in the song.
As with all good school club anime, the solution to a lot of the minor fractions within the group is to go and eat together. While this might be a fairly well-worn approach, I can’t deny the scene where the club had dinner was touching. The late night practices, the various members starting to look out for one another, it all just kind of works and the interactions within the club remain the strength of the series.
Also, they are getting more and more moments where they are working on the music. I’m really appreciating that aspect and I’m hoping we get more time watching this group practice and play together. Four episodes down and I’m very much enjoying this series.
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- Kono Oto Tomare! Series Review
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episodes 1 + 2
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episodes 3 + 4
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episode 5
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episode 6
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episode 7
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episode 8
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episode 9
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episode 10
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episodes 11 + 12
- Kono Oto Tomare! Episode 13
- Images from: Kono Oto Tomare! Dir. M Ryouma. Platinum Vision. 2019.